Folk Uke

WRITTEN BY OUR SPECIAL GUEST CATARINA SIGERFOOS.  CATARINA IS ON THE DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL FOR THE HEALTH ALLIANCE FOR AUSTIN MUSICIANS. THEY ARE A GREAT ORGANIZATION IN AUSTIN, TX WHOSE MISSION IS TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE FOR AUSTIN’S LOW INCOME, UNINSURED WORKING MUSICIANS, WITH A FOCUS ON WELLNESS AND PREVENTION.  LEARN MORE ABOUT HAAM BY VISITING WWW.MYHAAM.ORG.

Folk Uke makes me laugh, then reduces me to head swivels just to see if everybody else was paying attention to the F-bombs I just heard from the stage. The talented musical duo appeared for the first time at the glorious and historic Continental Club last Thursday night. Minutes before the show, Cathy Guthrie on uke, and Amy Nelson on guitar, tuned their instruments while engaging in patter with the packed house. Through comedic stage banter, they asked if the audience had questions or comments for the band.

 

The audience was immediately enchanted. The fact that they stop and talk to us makes everyone feel like we’re all in a fireside den, shooting pool and talking trash. They make a few more self-effacing and hilarious observations, mostly about their playing abilities. But, do not be fooled. These artists are dynamic and clever players. I call them the sardonic harmonics!

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The group played originals like “Knock Me Up” and “Starfucker,” a ballad written for groupies who have pursued their musical forebears. Then, comes one of the many reasons I love to go to their shows: I hear the first notes of “California Stars” by Woody Guthrie, and I’m reduced to tears by their radiant and dazzling vocal harmonies. By the overwhelming applause, the crowd agrees. The cover of Country legend’s Johnny Cash “I Still Miss Someone” sung like a heartfelt hymn, hushes the room.

Photos by Scott MacWatters

Keeping it as un-PC as it gets, “I Miss My Boyfriend”, another great original, is ridiculously wicked with references to prison, beatings, and the romance of wifely duties. It’s IRONY folks, and they keep it firmly tongue-in-cheek. “He Needs Me” by Harry Nilsson seems simple enough, but their version illustrates immense vocal ability and their arrangement gives it all. The songs they play are not only perfect for their voices; they illustrate their cerebral and passionate expanse as artists.

I think they deserve a full 2-finger salute!

Catarina Sigerfoos
Development Council
Health Alliance for Austin Musicians

 

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